Lobbying Bill rethink – another Tory ‘bait-and-switch’?

Lobbying Bill rethink – another Tory ‘bait-and-switch’?

If there's one thing that points the way to what's wrong with government it's Lobbying. But when the UK government raised a Bill to combat lobbying by making it transparent, the public where surprised and at first thought our government was turning over a new leaf. Imagine our disappointment when the Bill failed to include most types of Lobbying.

It seems we have all been victims of a Parliamentary stitch-up.

This Bill still does not do what it is supposed to do. A register of consultant lobbyists is not adequate to the task and would not have prevented any of the major lobbying scandals in which David Cameron has been embroiled.

Practically all forms of lobbying, including direct donations to political parties by corporate and private interests, will remain totally unaffected by the legislation and corporations could sidestep it easily, simply by bringing their lobbying operations “in house”.

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Reconstitution through Repeace

Reconstitution through Repeace

Reconstitution through Repeace

To the Founding Fathers,

We come with no easy blueprint for tomorrow's constitution. We mistrust those who think they already have the answers when we are still trying to formulate the questions. But the time has come for us to imagine completely novel alternatives, to discuss, dissent, debate, and design from the ground up the democratic architecture of tomorrow.

Not in a spirit of anger or dogmatism, not in a sudden impulsive spasm, but through the widest consultation and peaceful public participation, we need to join together to reconstitute America.

Alvin and Heidi Toffler - from the book 'Creating a New Civilization"'



There have been many groups which have grown out of the availability of the Internet and the flow of information which ensued. Some lean towards existing parties, others are bipartisan, and some have their base in the belief of an entirely new design. But the important thing is these people have seen the shift taking place, and through communication are attempting to make the inevitable much better, easier, and more participatory. I believe we can gain usable knowledge from any and perhaps all of these groups. Perhaps there is a need for new terminology? Instead of "politics", maybe we could call it "citizenology" or something of the sort? The word citizenship, according to Wikipedia, often also implies working towards the betterment of community through participation, volunteer work, and efforts to improve life for all citizens. So I suppose citizenology would be the study of how people, through participation, can work to improve life for all people. People deal with their differences by creating alliances, discussing, negotiating, and engaging people on issues which involve the self-interest of like-minded people. We need less stratification due to vertically structured parties, and more accordance through horizontal citizen engagement.

 

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The Truth Will Set You Free: We're In The Middle of a Global Awakening

In what may appear to be counter-intuitive, given the latest revelations about how the U.S. government and powerful corporations have partnered up to set up a massive and intrusive total-information-awareness surveillance system, I'm actually feeling pretty hopeful and optimistic about the future, not only here in the U.S., but for many other countries.

You see, for years I've been observing two very disturbing trends: The first one is the process wherein powerful transnational corporate elites basically took over the levers of governmental power via what is in essence legalized bribery (influence peddling, revolving door corruption, profiteering).  The second (which I found even more disturbing) was the apparent obliviousness of much of the population regarding the wholesale undermining of democracy and the rule of law, as a result of the alignment of interests between corporatist government officials and profit-seeking corporations.

I watched in horror as this previously slow-moving process went into hyper-drive after September 11, 2001, when the corporate surveillance state proceeded to impose the legal framework to undermine citizens' constitutional protections, and to consolidate their power.

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And I watched in horror as these ruling elites spread their world vision and ethos to many countries around the world, replicating a modus a operindi that involves the wholesale takeover of government institutions by enticing (and incentivising) the political class into acquiescing to the demands and expectations of transnational corporations and powerful individuals.

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